Radiotherapy Treatment Suite

The Radiotherapy Treatment suite provides radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients. It is a radiographer-led oncology service. The radiographers are specially trained to administer radiotherapy to cancer patients.  They are supported by the clinical oncology team and radiotherapy physics teams.

Where to book in

To check-in for radiotherapy go to the Colney Centre main reception desk and you will be directed to the appropriate radiotherapy waiting area.

Visitor facilities

Whilst you are welcome to bring a visitor with you they will not be allowed to enter the radiotherapy treatment machine area but will be asked to remain in the waiting area. Please note there are no facilities for child-care in the waiting areas.

What is radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy is a treatment that uses high energy x-rays and other similar types of radiation.  The machines used to generate and deliver the radiation are ultra-powerful and sophisticated versions of the diagnostic machines used in hospital x-ray departments.  We use two types of machine: –

  • The Xstrahl machine (produces a range of lower energy superficial x-rays)
  • Linear Accelerator machines (produce megavoltage beams of x-rays which penetrate more deeply into the body)

Radiotherapy may be used alone or with other treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and hormones.  Radiation cannot be seen or felt and the treatment is completely painless.

How does radiotherapy work?

Treating a tumour with radiation causes changes in the cells that stop them from growing.  The dose of radiation is worked out so that tumour cells are destroyed but healthy cells are able to repair and recover.  Your treatment is carefully planned so that the effect on healthy cells is kept to a minimum.

How is radiotherapy treatment given?

Radiotherapy Planning.  Your first appointment will be for radiotherapy planning.  This will involve having a planning CT scan in the Colney Centre.  Your consultant will use these x-ray images to precisely pin-point the area to be treated.  This appointment will take 30-60 minutes.

Radiotherapy Treatment.  Each treatment session takes approximately 15 minutes (the actual radiation dose only takes a few minutes of this session).  A course of treatment can vary in length from a single session to several weeks of treatment, attending on a daily basis.  Throughout your treatment you will be reviewed regularly by either your consultant or a trained clinic radiographer.